Elder law attorneys are tightly focused on all of the concerns that senior citizens have, and many of those who are reaching an advanced age have concerns about ongoing income. When you think about governmental programs that provide income for senior citizens Social Security is going to come to mind first.
Full retirement age as it applies to Social Security varies depending on the year during which you were born. For people born between 1943 and 1954, full retirement age is 66. You do have the option of taking an early retirement when you are as young as 62, but your benefit will be reduced. Conversely, you can delay retirement and earn delayed retirement credits that increase your benefit by 8% per year that you delay retirement up until the age of 70.
The amount of your Social Security benefit is calculated based on how much money you earned throughout your working career. There is a minimum requirement, and if this requirement has not been met you are not eligible for Social Security. However, people who reach the age of 65 who are in this position may qualify for Supplemental Security Income or SSI.
SSI is potentially available to the disabled and blind people as well as those who are 65 years of age and up. As of this writing the maximum monthly SSI benefit that one can receive as a single individual is $674. It should be noted that this is on the federal level; there are states that will supplement this federal SSI benefit with an additional boost.
When you’re planning for the future it is important to be fully aware of all of the potential benefits that are out there. The average layperson is probably not going to have taken the time to research all matters relevant to senior citizens. For this reason, it is always going to be a wise idea to consult with an elder law attorney so that you have a plan in place that addresses all the eventualities of aging.